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GST - Goods and Services Tax

Last Updated 31st Oct 2020

Central Taxes State Taxes
Excise duty Value Added Tax (VAT)
Service tax Entry tax and octroi
Additional customs duty or Countervailing Duty (CVD) Luxury tax
Special additional custom duty Purchase tax
Central surcharges and cesses Taxes on lottery, gambling etc. State surcharges and cesses

What is GST?

GST is a new form of tax that seeks to replace all central and state taxes and levies such as excise duty, countervailing duty, service tax, value added tax, octroi, entry tax and luxury tax. Goods and services should be taxed based on the value addition at each stage and not based on the gross value of the goods or services billed at each stage. Further, tax should be eventually borne at the point of consumption rather than at the point of production, though the tax department must be able to track value addition at each step and collect tax proportionate to the value added at each stage.

GST is a single tax right from the manufacturer or service provider to the consumer. In this system, taxes paid at each stage will be credited in the subsequent stage of value addition. Thus, Goods and Services Tax charged by the final dealer (seller or service provider) is the final tax borne by the customer, with set off of all taxes paid at all earlier stages in the supply chain.

Journey of GST in India

  • It will be levied on all goods and services produced or supplied or imported in India.
  • Exports are not subjected to Goods and Services Tax.
  • Goods that are kept outside its purview include alcohol for human consumption, petroleum products such as crude oil, petrol, motor spirit, high speed diesel, natural gas, turbine fuel and electricity.

Difference between GST Tax and Old Tax Structure

Old Tax Structure GST Tax
Number of Laws There are separate laws for separate taxes and respective VAT on states There is only ONE law
Tax Rate Existence of separate tax rates There will be one CGST rate and uniform SGST rate across all the states
Cascading effect (Taxes on Tax) Presence of cascading effect of taxes due to multiplicity in taxes Cascading effect is reduced which makes it very simple
Tax Burden High tax burden on taxpayers Tax burden is much reduced
Tax Structure Presence of multiple taxes makes compliance difficult Subsuming or absorbing the taxes into one makes compliance simple and easy
Prices for Consumers Usually very high due to cascading effect of taxes Prices are expected to be reduced

GST Exemptions

Old Tax Structure GST Structure
Food (essential unprocessed foods such as cereals, edible oil, vegetable, pulses) Exempt Exempt
Clothing Low rate Low rate
Medicines Low rate Low rate
Gold and precious metals (gems and jewelry) Centre: exempt; States: low rate (1%) Very low rate (2-6%)
Power Centre: Exempt; State: Subject to Electricity Duty Excluded i.e. State taxes will be continued
Alcohol High demerit rate (states only) Excluded i.e. State taxes will be continued
Tobacco High demerit rate Excluded i.e. Central and State taxes will be levied separately
Luxury cars High demerit rate High demerit rate
Aerated beverages High demerit rate High demerit rate
Petroleum High demerit rate Exempt for now, present tax will be continued till the time decide by GST COUNCIL
Real estate land Exempt Exempt
Education Exempt Exempt
Health (excluding medicines) Exempt Exempt

Advantages of GST

For Manufacturers and Traders

  • Easy compliance
  • Uniformity in tax rates and structure
  • Removal of cascading or compounding effect of tax
  • Enhance the competitiveness
  • Move towards development of a common national market

For Central and State government

  • Simple and easy administration
  • Improved compliance and revenue collections
  • Better revenue effectiveness

For Consumers

  • Payment of the single and transparent tax
  • Reduction of burden of the taxpayers

Tax Laws before GST

  • Before GST in India, the Taxation system was divided into direct and indirect taxes. The direct tax included Income and Wealth Tax, and the Indirect tax included Sales Tax, Excise Duty, Customs Duty, and Service Tax.
  • The indirect tax was imposed on one person; the burden of it, however, was imposed on another person. In the direct tax, the burden was imposed on the taxpayer directly.
  • The tax was collected by the State and the Center separately, also, different states had different tax regimes.

What changes does GST bring in?

The Goods and Services Tax or GST brought a major change in the taxation visuals in India. Earlier, different taxes were paid separately to the state and the center. However, GSTin subsumed all taxes into one, and now there is the practical application of ‘One nation, one tax.’ Some of the changes that GST brought in are as follows:

  • No multiple taxes to be paid
  • Replacement of indirect taxes like excise duty and sales tax into one
  • Clear distinction of taxes on luxuries and necessities
  • Introduction of simplified ways to fill Income Tax Returns and taxes, for instance through GST online portal or website
  • Boost for Real estate and MSME sector
  • Ease for transportation of goods, as no separate taxes
  • Tax administration under both State and Central governments
  • Transparency in the taxation process


What do you mean by GST?

GST or Goods and Services Tax is an indirect tax, charged on the consumption and supply of goods and services in India. The Government collects GST from the ultimate point of consumption.

What is GST and types of GST?

GST is the Goods and Services Tax that is collected by the Government on various goods and services. It is distinguished into four types, which are IGST, CGST, SGST, and UGST.

What are the three types of GST?

The three types of GST are CGST or Central Goods and Services Tax, SGST or State Goods and Services Tax, IGST or Integrated Goods Services Tax, and UGST or Union Goods and Services Tax.

Who collects IGST?

IGST or Integrated Goods and Services Tax is collected by both Central and the State Government as per the prefixed revenues. This GST bill is collected in case of inter-state transactions.

Can I pay the GST bill online?

Yes, you can pay the GST bill online through GST official website.

Our News - Oct 2020
  • 2020-10-01 : GST collections for Sept may cross Rs 95,000 cr
    The goods and services tax (GST) collections for September are likely to cross Rs 95,000 crore for the first time this fiscal year. The finance ministry has estimated that there will be a gap of Rs 2.35 trillion between the compensation cess collections and compensation requirement of states in the current fiscal year.
  • 2020-09-02 : GST collection hits 88% of August 2019 collections
    GST mop up in August reached 88% of the collection in August 2019. At ₹86,500 crore, it was a tad lower than the ₹87,422 crore mopped up in July. Year-on-year, it was down 12%.
  • 2020-08-31 : SBI reported three ways for bridging States GST revenue shortfall
    State Bank of India proposed three options for states to raise resources to bridge the shortfall in GST revenue from the Centre. This can be done by the Reserve Bank monetising the state governments debts, enlargement of Ways and Means Advances (WMA), or taking recourse to the National Small Savings Fund.
  • 2020-08-28 : Centre proposed 2 borrowing options before States to meet GST compensation shortfall
    Centre proposed 2 borrowing options before States to meet GST compensation shortfall due to COVID 19. The options are RBI will open a special window for the shortfall or facilitate borrowing through the open market.
  • 2020-08-24 : Exemption limit for GST increased to Rs 40 lakh from Rs 20 lakh
    GST Council doubled the limit for exemption the payment of GST on Small business to Rs 40 lakh. Earlier the exemption limit was Rs. 20 lakhs. The hike in the exemption is in lines of the Government efforts to provide impetus to the small business for economic growth.
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